Whether you’re the newlyweds, maid of honour, the best man, or one of the doting parents - chances are you might be expected to make a speech at the wedding reception.
If you want an unforgettable speech filled with humorous quips, memories and maybe even tears (you monster), then you need to prepare. This isn’t something that should be written on your phone in the limo on the way to the wedding. Omg. The thought of that just gives me the shivers.
Therefore, you now find yourself in Kerstyn’s epic speech writing class 101:
Print it out! There is nothing worse than photos of someone reading a speech from their phone - it looks like you're texting! Sorry, too harsh? But seriously, please print it out on paper. If you've left it to the last minute - never fear! Most reception venues have an office printer and they'll be happy to help, otherwise, you could try the hotel you're staying at or swing past Officeworks on the way. You'll thank me when you get your photos back.
If the MC has just introduced you by name, it isn't necessary to introduce yourself again. If there isn't an MC or they didn't say your name, then you can start by introducing yourself. Not everyone knows who you are yet. Unless you’re Beyonce in which case OMG HI BEY!
You’re making the speech to toast the newlyweds new marriage, so make sure it’s focused on them and not all about your experience.
Sprinkle the humour and anecdotes throughout, but don’t go on a crazy tangent with 12 stories from your shared past. It’s too much and chances are a lot of it is ‘you needed to be there’. One or two main story points is fine. Bonus points if you can refer back to it later in the speech!
Heart warming is lovely, but again, don’t overdo it.
Make sure you always compliment the newly married other half. Even if you’re still annoyed about that one time back in 2014 when they didn’t pick you and your friend up from the pub-- you know what, I’m getting off track! Just say something nice about the person that your person married.
It’s wise to avoid jokes or stories about past lovers, toilet humour, money and in-jokes. You can’t be sure everyone will get the joke so it’s best not to alienate people.
Have fun with it! This is a joyous occasion, try not to overthink it. Plus everyone will be drunk anyway so they won’t remember.
Now, when it comes time to actually give the speech, make sure you speak clearly and enunciate your words. Hold the microphone nice and close to your mouth, and try not to wave it around while gesturing. Pause for effect where needed and add a bit of variety to your tone. Bonus points again if you can look up from your notes at times! BUT if all else fails, just say happily “don’t they make a gorgeous couple?!” and everyone will clap and cheer.
If the thought of writing your speech gives you sweaty palms, don’t forget you can outsource help! I happen to be a pretty gifted wordsmith if I do say so myself, and have written my fair share of wedding speeches, so I know what’s hot and what’s not.